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Presented by Daniel W Bailey, PhD, DABR
Northside Hospital Cancer Institute
Recorded August 12, 2019
The modern radiation therapy workflow comprises a vast labyrinth of human input/interaction, communication between inter-disciplinary team members, and orchestration of complex technological tasks. Growing databases of incident reports that allow the retrospective analysis of treatment deviations and near-misses continue to demonstrate that breakdowns in clinical process flow make up the majority of radiotherapy incidents. Consequently, the quality management program of today’s clinic must go above and beyond technology-specific QA processes (which will always play a vital role) to constantly evaluate the entire clinical workflow. Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA) – which encompasses a multi-disciplinary approach to map out processes and identify potential failure modes via quantitative risk assessment – has proven an important resource in improving the safety and quality of radiotherapy treatments. A slew of recent professional guidelines and peer-reviewed publications enable the concerned professional to study the benefits and possible implementation techniques of FMEA in the context of various treatment modalities. However, at the same time, clinical workload, particularly outside the academic work environment, potentially cause members of the treatment team to view FMEA as beyond their scope of practice or ability. In this presentation, we will view FMEA from an introductory and practical point of view, and present principles that enable all members of the treatment team to implement basic FMEA techniques, either individually or in small groups of clinical team members, as a definitive step forward to improving the quality of day-to-day communications and tasks.
Daniel W Bailey, PhD, DABR is a medical physicist in Radiation Oncology at the Northside Hospital Cancer Institute centered in Atlanta GA. He completed his graduate degrees and residency at the State University of New York at Buffalo and the Roswell Park Cancer Institute under the mentorship of Dr. Matthew Podgorsak, and has been in his current position in Atlanta since 2013. In addition to his clinical responsibilities at Northside Hospital, he also serves as the chair of a multi-disciplinary task force to improve the quality, safety, and efficiency of radiation oncology clinical and teaching processes. On the national level, Dr. Bailey serves on a number of medical physics committees for the American Association of Physicists in Medicine, the American Association of Medical Dosimetrists, and the American Board of Radiology, and also serves on the Board of Editors of the Journal of Applied Clinical Medical Physics.